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Why Do Women Favor Same-Gender Competition? Evidence from a Choice Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Norma Burow
  • Miriam Beblo
  • Denis Beninger
  • Melanie Schröder

Abstract

This paper addresses the behavioral puzzle of women’s preference for competition when competitors are also women. Using a framed field experiment with 883 non-standard subjects, we show that none of the determinants of competitive behavior in general, including ability, self-confidence and risk aversion, provide a satisfying explanation for women’s substantive gender-related selection into competition. Nonetheless, women who are overconfident, i.e. over-estimate own abilities in performing a task, enter competition regardless of the gender-mix. Hence, the gender-pairing phenomenon is driven by women who correctly estimate or under-estimate own ability. We concluded that this is due to stereotypes about women’s underperformance compared to men.

Suggested Citation

  • Norma Burow & Miriam Beblo & Denis Beninger & Melanie Schröder, 2017. "Why Do Women Favor Same-Gender Competition? Evidence from a Choice Experiment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1662, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1662
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Preferences for competition; gender; group composition; self-confidence;

    JEL classification:

    • C99 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Other
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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